3M MILITARY EARPLUG LAWSUIT

3M MILITARY EARPLUG LAWSUITSuffering because of the 3M Military earplug?  Pepper & Odom Law Firm attorneys are currently representing military combat veterans who suffered hearing loss and/or Tinnitus from using defective combat 3M Military earplugs between 2003 and 2015.

Military personnel are suing the manufacturer in multidistrict litigation. If you believe you were affected by this defective equipment issued to military personnel, please contact us regarding the 3M Military Earplug Lawsuit.

DUAL-ENDED COMBAT ARMS EARPLUGS, VERSION 2 (CAEV2)

3M military earplugs were standard issue for thousands of service members deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan from 2003 to 2015. These earplugs claimed to offer dual-purpose ear protection.

Inserting the earplugs one way would allow regular sound to be heard, but while inserted the opposite way, this device would provide adequate protection from loud sounds such as gunfire and explosions. Although loud noises are common in combat zones, due to the wrongful conduct of 3M Company, many thousands of service members may have experienced exposure to dangerous noise levels because of the defective design of the combat earplugs. 

This is the reason the 3M Military Earplug Lawsuit has gained so much attention with regard to the unethical business practices. In 2018, 3M agreed to settle claims by the Government that it knowingly sold the defective earplugs to the Department of Defense.

DEFECTIVE DESIGN OF THE CAEV2 EARPLUGS

Based on Whistleblower’s claims, the designs of the CAEv2 Combat earplugs were not long enough to fit all users’ ears properly. According to the US government, 3M failed to communicate the design flaw of the product to the US Military.

Although 3M paid a settlement of $9.1 million, the company would not admit any fault or ill intent of their failure to disclose the defective design of the 3M military earplugs. This critical design defect made the earplugs effectively useless if they would not stay properly inserted into the ears.

Unfortunately, this would cause some user’s earplugs to slip out of the ear or would not protect against the sound properly. Earplugs are not supposed to loosen and compromise a user’s hearing ability. 

Allegedly, 3M and its predecessor Aearo Technologies knew of the design defect as early as 2000, and may have manipulated test results to meet the Department of Defense standards. According to court records, 3M stated that it costs 85 cents to produce (CAEV2) 3M military earplugs, while they sold them for $7.63. 

They also stated that the 3M military earplugs were safe and functioned as intended when used and fitted correctly. 3M dismissed any claims about the product being defective, poorly designed, or causing injury. 

They also went on record to say, “we will vigorously defend ourselves against such litigations”. Being the largest mass tort ever brought to federal court, this litigation is only one of the many legal issues 3M faces. 

3M’s stock fell 20% at the beginning of 2018, caused partially by litigation of water contamination created by compounds used in firefighting foam that were discontinued.

Did 3m and aearo Technologies Deny Claims?

The US Army requested Aearo Technologies in 1997 to create an earplug that would permit use for intimate communications, as well as prevent damage from extreme noises such as firing shoulder-launched rockets. Aearo produced a plug made of three cup-like stacks on each end, which saw usage from 2003 to 2015 by the US military.

Folding the protruding, flexible cups on the outward side of the ear would sometimes be the only way to get any proper usage out of the earplugs. If a soldier did not fold the cups over, the earplugs would gradually loosen over time, allowing noise to bleed into the ear.

The popular post-it notepad company, 3M, claimed that their designers provided the government with the instructions for proper use. Supposedly, the company stated that it was the responsibility of the department of defense to translate the instructions to soldiers.

However, until they put information into the fold through separate litigation, which plaintiffs say urged 3M to discontinue the earplugs, veterans would argue that the military’s awareness of the situation was non-existent.

Over 299,000 Cases Against 3M Military EarPlug

As of 2022, there are over 299,000 cases that are against 3M. Out of nearly 300,000 cases, 12 service members have won claims against 3M while only 6 have lost. 

An award of $220 million, including punitive damages, would go to service members who win their case. Unfortunately, 3M is appealing the verdict and asking the court to classify their meaning of evidentiary and legal errors, so that they do not have to compensate for the claims. 

If you believe you have entitlement to a claim for a defective product that caused personal injury, the attorneys at Pepper & Odom can help you win the compensation that you deserve.

DO YOU HAVE A CLAIM?

Service members who fought in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Libya, Somali, and the Indian Ocean may have entitlement to a lawsuit, as they were likely issued the same 3M military earplugs. Attorneys will want to know about your diagnosis and if you had any preexisting conditions regarding impaired hearing before enlisting in the military or before being issued CAEV2 earplugs, as one of these reasons can affect your eligibility to file a claim.

The relevance of the time period of your diagnosis can also prove your eligibility to file a claim. For example, if the diagnosis given occurred within one year of being discharged or while you were serving, this could help assure your right to your claim.

Other people who may be eligible would include Department of Defense contractors who worked between 2003 and 2015. If you are currently receiving veteran’s disability benefits, you may also be eligible to file a claim.

Your existing benefits will not have any reductions if you receive any compensation regarding a claim.

If you can answer Yes to the following three questions, then you may have a claim considering the 3M Military Earplug Lawsuit.

  1. Were you an actively deployed servicemember in the U.S. Military between 2003 and 2015?
  2. Were you issued and used the 3M Dual-Ended Combat Arms CAEv2 Earplugs during your military service?
  3. Have you been diagnosed with hearing loss or tinnitus?

Personal injury cases involving defective products can be some of the most intricate cases someone can deal with. There is a lot of time that goes into investigating and gathering evidence linked to the defective product.

This is why you need a skilled attorney who has experience with 3M military earplug cases. At Pepper & Odom, our attorneys have the experience you need to win your personal injury case caused by defective products.

Expenses that can be eligible for recovery include any medical testing and treatments, lost wages and lost potential earnings, pain and suffering, lost quality of life, and lost companionship.

In Mississippi call our Jackson, MS office at 601-202-1111 or in Alabama call our Birmingham, AL office at 205-250-1107 or use the ‘Free Case Consultation’ form below. Contact us today to get a free confidential case review.

We don’t charge any attorney fees unless you get compensated. Our Attorneys have helped thousands of people who have suffered personal injuries and we have recovered millions of dollars for our clients.